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Stray Black Cat, Need help

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hi folks,

Im new to the forum, i was searching the internet about cat behaviour. I work at a bowling alley as a mechanic, and we found a little black female cat about a month ago, came right up to us, meowing and skin and bones. We started feeding her and she has been with us every day since. But she is a very timid cat, she runs from things, but most of the time she will eat, then walk over to me and head butt my hand so i pet her. We recently trimmed her claws, I don't think anyone ever has, because one of the guys got scratched by her when he was petting her (No ill effects from the scratch thankfully). I need to get her to a vet, But im afraid of transporting her there, because As i said she is a timid cat, and may try to scratch and bite. Most of the time she is pretty mellow, but she doesn't seem to like catnip, or any of the toys i have bought for her. So basically im asking for advice, How much generally does it cost to bring a cat to a vet to get vaccinations and checked out and whatnot, cause we don't wanna get bit or scratched badly by her and end up getting some disease or infection. She is getting to trust us, and eventually i want to bring her home. So any advice/suggestions are welcome. I don't know exactly if she is Feral, she acts as tho she is but i really don't know
post #2 of 23
Hello, Catnoob, and welcome to the forum!

You are doing a good thing by taking care of your little black kitty

From what you say, she doesn't sound like a feral cat, she sounds more like an abandoned, lost, or strayed pet. A feral cat wouldn't be so friendly as quickly as your little one was. She is probably traumatized from whatever happened to put her on the streets, so her shyness is only to be expected. And listen, I used to work in the pit at a bowling alley, and the noise there, let alone all the moving machinery - your kitty sounds pretty brave (and desperate) to me!

But that's a technicality...except you might want to keep an eye on any Lost Pets notices in your newspaper...and whoever had her may have (only MAY have) already seen to some of the necessities like vaccinations...

But it is still important to get her to a vet. Most vets, and some bigger pet stores, sell (relatively) cheap cardboard carriers. Mine cost $12. If she is in a carrier, or even a sturdy box with good ventiliation, everything will go much more smoothly.

Vets know how to handle Ferocious Kitties, no problem - they are used to it! As for YOU handling said Ferocious Kitty, it'd probably be a good idea to use heavy gloves while you are moving her in and out of the carrier.

Important thing is to get her (or him - ya never know!) to the vet for a checkup, neutering if he'she is old enough, & vaccinations.

Many vets in larger urban areas have cheaper rates for rescued cats. The prices for neutering and shots vary according to where you are. Please post with your location, and other members of this forum who are in your area (trust me, there will be some!) will tell you more about costs!

Again, thank you for having a good and caring for the poor little kitten.
post #3 of 23
On the costs, as the other person said, a lot of people here can help you find inexpensive care for strays/ferals if it exists in your area. You can check online or through the phone book as well but most people here are aware of networks dedicated to rescue and inexpensive help.

It is wonderful what you are doing, esp for a black cat during this dangerous time of year for her, so close to Halloween!
post #4 of 23
where are you located? in new york, vets are pricey but do often give a discount if you explain it's a 'rescue' off the streets. for me a basic vet exam with shots will run me about $90. however, there may be cheaper options in your area. here, the Petcos and Petland Discounts stores sponsor 'vet days' to get people pets checked out for free (or cheap). also the local shelters sometimes sponsor things like this. let us know where you are and maybe we can give your more specific advice.

thanks for giving this cat a chance!

frankly, i think one of the major reasons people don't stick their necks out more for stray cats like this is vet costs.
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice guys.

I clipped her nails myself cause one of the guys got scratched a little when he was playing with her, So i just have to worry about her teeth
I found a place near where we work that spossedly has low cost pet vac/spay so imma give them a call.

Ya we think she was abandoned, cause she has no problem with us picking her up, unless she is in a playful mood, then she is gonna wap at you with her paws, and she has quite the pawstrength for a lil thing. Got me last night, thankfully as above mentioned i cut her nails :P
post #6 of 23
Hopefully you will protect her especially this time of year. There are some very bad, strange people out there around Halloween that do terrible things to black cats.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Funny you guys should mention the halloween black cat thing, cause i have not seen my cat today yet. And she usually comes around about 7pm-8 to eat dinner. Hope noone scooped her up I will let you guys know if i find her
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
This cat hates to be inside, but ive been keeping it in because of the dangers of halloween and her being black cat. Do you guys know of a temporary solution for a litter box? we need to go buy one, but in the meantime, any suggestions?
post #9 of 23
a cardboard box, lined with a trash bag, filled with loose soil should work until you can get to the store for actual litter and a box.
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
I got a cardboard box filled with dirt and leaves for her, she sniffed at it.. and went to lay down on the washer machine. Mebbe she doesn't have to use the bathroom. I dunno. This cat frustrates me.
That and the only toy she will both with is a red laser pointer.
post #11 of 23
sounds like she never learned to play...or just not into it.
one of my cats will only play with laser also.

sounds like your doing a great job or takig care of her.
post #12 of 23
I'm glad to hear she showed up again, I was worried over your post that she was missing!

Um, I gotta laugh over the box thing...got this picture of you showing her the box, like "See? This is your box, now use it!" and expecting her to go, then and there, like, on command - lotsa luck Has she used it since then?

The back of a bowling alley is not the best home for her...it's noisy, and dangerous if she gets out into where the machines are, and if it's like the place I worked, it can get really hot or cold according to the season. When are you going to break down and take this little kitty home? You've been so kind to her and...you know you want to take her to a nice warm safe home...with a real litter box
post #13 of 23
a lot of grocery stores and even smaller convenience stores now carry those 'disposable' litterboxes, could be a quick way to get a pan and some litter. if she doesn't understand the litterbox, sprinkle some dirt on top, this may jog her memory.

cats are supposed to frustrate you! it helps defray brain atrophy
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
I wish i could take this cat home, but the people i live with wouldn't appreciate it. They hate cats
She really doesn't mind the noise it seems, and she runs away from the door to the machines in the back so i dont have to worry about her gettin in there. As for taking her home, ya.. pretty much no
post #15 of 23
That's a darn shame You have a lot of potential to be a Cat Person...hey, have you named her yet? Do you do duckpins or tenpins? I'm thinking of names like Miss Otis (like in the old song), or Miss Brunswick...

One thing about cats, especially young ones - once they get comfortable in a place, they love to explore. Keep an eye on your little buddy - she might get bold enough to try to visit those pinsetters!
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
I doubt this cat will get that comfortable, i mean its been a month and she still is skittish around me and the rest of the guys. Btw its 10 pin bowling. And we named her Alley.. Of course.. heheh.
Couple questions tho

#1 why is this cat so skittish?
#2 when sometimes scratching her, cause she comes up and headbutts you till you do, she emits a loud Meow and tries to swat at you're hand? Then she will roll over on her back and try to swat yer hand. Is this playful behavior?
#3. The other day when i was scratching her , she rubber her face up against my arm and went to act like she was gonna bite me, i didn't move, and she like Lightly nipped my arm. Is that affection? like dogs licking?

Thanks in advance guys
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
head Bump for attention
post #18 of 23
#1 why is this cat so skittish? - she not been around people that much or the ones she has been has made her not so trusting, sometimes it can take a long time for one to fully come around

#2 when sometimes scratching her, cause she comes up and headbutts you till you do, she emits a loud Meow and tries to swat at you're hand? Then she will roll over on her back and try to swat yer hand. Is this playful behavior? -- Yep if she is showing her stomach that in normaly a sign that she trust you, however going in for belly rubs is not a good idea,

#3. The other day when i was scratching her , she rubber her face up against my arm and went to act like she was gonna bite me, i didn't move, and she like Lightly nipped my arm. Is that affection? like dogs licking- i have had a couple of cat that will do that.
both of the ones i have now nibble on my arms all the time when playing, if you dont like or trust that, then when she does it, stop paying attention to h er.
post #19 of 23
Awww, she sounds very sweet. I would say most of the personality traits she is showing means that she is getting to trust you more and more. Showing the belly, like Bruce said is a sign of trust...but don't tempted to rub that belly because its a trick They normally bite if you touch their bellies

Love nips are very common too...some kittens never learn when it hurts though because they were taken away from mom and siblings too soon. Thats when the nibbles become bites. My Trouty bites alot..love bites..yeah right
post #20 of 23
yeh, sounds like all good signs to me, and she'll be less and less skittish the more you work on her. that biting thing is annoying but she doesn't mean any harm. eventually you should be able to teach her not to bite, but she already seems to know not to bite hard.
post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 
Ok Big Update.

I took the cat to the vet to get her checked out.

#1 She is already spayed. the vet saw the scar and could feel where the stitches where.
#2 i got her rabies shot, distemper, feline HIV, Lukemia.. Ect.
#3 She had no worms. None.. no fleas either.. but they gave her revolution to be sure.

overall it cost me $100 bux, but i feel better cause now if she bites it don't have to worry about rabies or distemper ect. That and she is healthy which is good.
She allowed me to hold her, when i can catch her, the new game is try to get near me, im gonna run then crouch and wag my tail at you till you get close again.
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
Big Update.

Its been a 3 months since we have had Alley come to us. She has gained about 10 pounds, when we found her it was about 5 lbs. She was skin and bones. Now she is 15 lbs. Still a pain in the butt. Can't figure out what to get her to play with, i tried to make her a scratching post out of carpet but she doesn't even pay attention to it. She likes to go outside and bat around leaves and sticks and stuff. She knows how to use the litterbox, AND goes outside to do her buisness.. so thats a plus. Still skittish, but she lets me pick her up, WHEN I CAN CATCH her.. to get her some hugs and cuddles. She loves to run away when i come for her sometimes, then she stops, gets down on all 4's and wags her tail like.. cmon..you almost got me.. try again. But she isn't going anywhere.. and she always comes back to us (cause we got catfood )
Any suggestions of toys for this cat?
post #23 of 23
I've enjoyed hearing about Alley so much! Take some pictures of her so we can see her, she sounds like a real doll.

As for toys, have you tried DaBird? From what I've heard it's a wand with feathers on a string attached to it, and when it's 'pulled' through the ai it looks just like a flying bird. You could go to the store and see if they have any interactive toys, though. I get mine for cheap from Wal-Mart and my cats love them.
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